Saturday, September 14, 2013

Review of PeopleKeys' Student Binder

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Because of Nicky's uniqueness, we have ended up putting a lot of time into figuring out what makes him tick. I know firsthand how frustrating and even hurtful this can feel from the sibling perspective. For this reason, I was initially very excited to have the opportunity to review the StudentKeys Student Binder from PeopleKeys. That initial excitement turned into frank curiosity about Therese when the Binder actually arrived!

PeopleKeys provides behavioral assessment tools that would not be unfamiliar to many people in the business world. In fact, when Henry saw the workbooks Therese was completing, he commented that they closely resembled the kinds of things his team does all the time at work in "Team Building." 

The Student Binder is comprised of six workbooks:

The workbooks help students find out more about their personality style, learning style, and goals and interests, all in an effort to help them hone their learning and interaction skills. The workbooks, in the order Therese (12) completed them, are:

1.  The Personality Style Workbook: this 16 page workbook with 15 questions only took Therese about 10 minutes to complete. At first she wasn't sure how to answer the questions (each had to be ranked 1-4), but once she got into a rhythm it got easier. At the end, she totaled her points to find out that her personality type is shared with almost 3/4 of all people. After reading through the personality type characteristics, I was at first a little surprised, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that she is, in fact, Steady, Supportive, and Stable. Her secondary personality revealing her to be Compliant, Cautious, and Correct is the one that I thought would dominate. Color me surprised! It was a fun revelation. After quickly skimming the personality types, I could very easily tell that I was a "D" (a Dominant, Determined, Driver, a type I share with 3% of the population; no need to take a profile - my whole family agreed that the description was me to a "T."). This amazing workbook contained close to 15 pages of analysis and discussion of the personality types in all of their strengths, weaknesses, and interactions. I loved it! Therese enjoyed reading about them, too, but I was fascinated.

2. The Perceptual Learning Style Workbook: This 12 page workbook was even quicker to complete, as it required no rank ordering. Instead, in 20 questions, Therese just circled one of three choices that described her. Then, by totaling them up, she found out whether she was an auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learner. I was very curious about this. I have been strongly auditory my whole life, but I just wasn't all that sure about her. I knew she wasn't kinesthetic (and that was confirmed), but I was anxious to find out "the rest of the story." It turns out that she is pretty evenly split between auditory and visual, but slightly more visual. It was very good for me to read that her constant doodling while I am reading during school is normal for her learning! Again, the workbook is packed with learning and study tips for all learning types. There is a ton of great stuff here.

3. The Cognitive Thinking Style Workbook: Like the preceding workbooks, this one has a short questionnaire followed by about 15 pages of interpretive material. In this workbook, Therese found out whether she was a Literal, Intuitive, Theoretical, or Experiential Thinker. It turns out she is Intuitive. I kind of guessed this based on the descriptions, which I read as she was completing the questions. Again, though, the great value of the workbook is the insight you get into your child in the succeeding pages. You find "Where Your Thinking Excels", "Where Your Thinking is Limited", "How You Work in a Group", "How You Work Alone." I found this insight about Therese invaluable.

4. The Values Style Workbook: Another short-ish questionnaire is followed by pages of insight. This time, Therese found out whether she had a Loyalty, Equality, Personal Freedom, or Justice Values style. She is high on both Loyalty and Justice. Delgados are all rather consumed by the notion of Justice, so I wasn't surprised by this. This workbook was not as interesting or beneficial to me as the others, as it really didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. We have raised our children to value Loyalty above all else, and, as I said, we all seem to be consumed by the notion of Justice.

5. The Career Choice Workbook: This workbook is 24 pages long. It begins with a discussion of workforce trends, hot careers, and things to ponder. In this workbook, the DISC personalities from the first workbook come back into play, but this time in the context of occupational styles. Based on your dominant style, about 50 careers are suggested. I can see Therese in several of her suggested fields (Ironically, what I do is not suggested for my style). Then, careers are broken down by industry with jobs cross-referenced by occupational style. Although there is a lot to this workbook, I don't actually find it all that helpful. It just isn't very specific. I would think that if one were to buy only one workbook, you get far more bang for your buck with Workbook #1.

6. The Goal Setting Workbook: This 17 page workbook is slightly different from the others. It begins with a discussion of the importance of goals before asking students to number a list from 1-14 in terms of priorities. Then, specific goals are set and obstacles are considered. Therese didn't really like this workbook and I understood why. It sounded just like her daddy talking to her! He is always asking questions like, "Is that goal measurable? Is it specific?" In some ways, the workbook felt kind of like a lecture. I think in this book, more than in any other, it was clear that the target audience for this binder is high school. This is the only workbook for which I felt Therese was a little young, but that was more about her attitude than anything else, because everyone should set goals.

What I Thought

This is an awesome product. I loved having the opportunity to watch Therese work through these workbooks. All told, each one took about 45 minutes. The actual question answering went quickly, but reading through the material takes time, and it should. I think Therese learned a lot about what kind of person she is at her core (she is probably not as anti-social as she postures herself to be), how she studies, and how she thinks. She enjoyed being able to review something that was not purely academic; it made her feel important. I would love the opportunity to go through all of these assessments with each of my children when they are older. Therese really was on the lower end of the age limit for this product, as it is recommended for 13+. I know that I will be continuing to read through Therese's results many more times.

PeopleKeys has many other products you can administer to your children (or to yourself!), and Crew members got to review a bunch of them, so click the banner below. The Student Binder is available for $49.00, or the individual workbooks can be purchased for $13.00 each.

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